No fear

John Mark Nelson. Photo provided

John Mark Nelson. Photo provided

At age 20, John Mark Nelson is by no means a long-time veteran in the music business, but he’s learned enough to know that you can’t let fear stop you.

Nelson, an independent American pop-folk songwriter and performer based out of Minneapolis, will be at the Paramount Theatre as part of the Caravan du Nord Sept. 26, which also features Alex Rossi and Root City and James Bracken and John Stewell.

Nelson has been making music for just three years and he’s already put out three album’s — “Still Here,” “Waiting and Waiting” and “Sings the Moon.” He learned early on that it was best to be brave when he began writing songs.

“I don’t contest to have any magical answers [on songwriting]. I encourage people to use the tools they have and not be afraid to try songwriting if it’s something they enjoy,” Nelson said. “The people in my life were gracious enough to encourage [my music] instead of being annoyed by it.”

Nelson, along with Rossi and Root City, will provide a music workshop during the day that will be hosted by Bill DeVille of 89.3 The Current. DeVille will host a conversation with Nelson from 2 to 3 p.m. and there will be a panel of artists and industry professionals discussing how to make music a business from 3 to 4 p.m.

At 7 p.m., Nelson will headline the show with Rossi and Root City and Bracken and Stowell opening. Nelson is excited about his opportunity to play in Austin.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Paramount, and I’ve seen pictures of it.”

Nelson grew up in Minneapolis and started to learn about music by messing around on the computer and layering his music over sounds. Although he is a young artist, he feels his music probably appeals to fans that are older than him.

As he’s traveled around the country on tour Nelson has noticed that there are some bands and musicians out there who are younger, and he thinks that’s a good thing.

Nelson said that music doesn’t discriminate by age.

“Music is something we all have in common,” he said. “There should not be an age minimum or a maximum for it.”

The Caravan du Nord is an ongoing project of the Minnesota Music Coalition. It will make stops in Austin, Detroit Lakes, Red Wing, Faribault and Duluth.

Austin is hosting the first scheduled night of the Caravan and it will ned Nov. 6 in Duluth.

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